How many clients should you have as a freelance writer?

How many clients should you have as a freelance writer?

How many clients should you have as a freelance writer?

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Each type of freelance work will has space for a different amount of clients. How many clients should a freelance writer have?

If you’re a therapist, you’re likely to have more clients than a freelance writer would have. That’s just the way the service works. After all, as a therapist, you’ll likely see a patient for an hour a week, whereas a freelance writer will need to take up a few hours on a project for one client in a week or even a day.

So, we can’t just look at all freelance and service roles to say how many clients you should have. For this post in particular, I’m going to look at freelance writers.

Don’t put all your eggs into one basket

The rule that applies to everyone in any sort of business is not to put all your eggs into one basket. That means you need more than one client, regardless of the type of work that you do.

As a freelance writer*, you definitely need more than one client. If you’re doing enough work in an eight-hour day for just one person, that’s a full time job. They should be giving you benefits and putting you on the payroll. This isn’t contractor work!

Even when you have multiple clients, you want to avoid one client being the bulk of your income. Sadly, I have run into this in the past. Losing just that one client can leave you panicking because the rest of your clients don’t bring in enough money together to pay your rent. You want to make sure your income is split across the clients.

Find a sweet spot for your diary as a freelance writer

It’s hard to say just how many clients you should have. I have four consistent clients that give me work each week or month. Then I have a couple of clients who will check in on a ad-hoc basis that I fit in.

This is my sweet spot. I also work on my own blogs, and I have other ways of making money online, including as an investment professional, as well as parenting my children.

I know other people who have six consistent clients, while others will have 10 clients who split up their work over the course of a couple of months. It all depends on the type of writing you do and the number of clients that work for your needs.

You want enough to keep you busy but to still make sure you have time for the other things you love. You also need enough to pay your bills, but this also comes down to making sure your rates are right.

MORE: Why keep blogging as a side hustle

Have a waiting list or keep putting feelers out

Just because your books are full doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. There are all sorts of reasons you can end up losing clients.

When I first started as a freelance writer*, I had a great client who paid on time and sent a lot of work. Then suddenly he disappeared. It took a couple of weeks for me to learn that he had been involved in a serious accident.

Other clients have ghosted me, while some have just made it clear that their work is going in another direction. Then there are other clients who will decide they can’t afford my rates anymore, or they’ll want work that I can’t offer them.

You want to keep the feelers out when you’re freelancing. I do have a wait list for those who want to become a consistent client. That opens up now and then so I can add in a new client. I’ll also spend time looking for smaller ad-hoc gigs now and then.

Are you suffering from burnout as a freelance writer?

Pay close attention to how you’re feeling as a writer. Are you spending too much time at the computer? This could be a sign that you have too many clients. It could also be a sign that you just need to manage your time better.

If you have a good management on your time, look at your client roster. Is there someone who takes up more time than they should? Do you enjoy working for all your clients? Is it time to cut someone loose to open up a space and maybe get a better paying client? There’s nothing wrong with looking into this, especially if you start suffering from burnout.

Yes, burnout is real. There are a few writers I’ve met over the years who claim to never have burnout. It’s probably because they don’t do this full time rather than they’re unique in this way. Even the best have had burnout in their earlier years.

MORE: Can you make money writing online with Reddit posts?

How many clients do you have as a freelance writer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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